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Costa Rica: Rainy and Rainier

 Costa Rica

 Gosh Darn.  I was really surprised with how much it rained in Costa Rica.

Did I read the fine print of the travel itinerary? Pour over the guide books?  Ask people who had been there?

Nope.  Life has been too chaotic with losses and illnesses. Lots of thing needing attention. The last six months of 2014 were pretty much a blur.    The trip was  planned by a friend with his travel agent for early 2015 so we went on a ten day adventure with very little idea of what to expect.

Rain Forest in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Our first destination was in a Cloud Forest about an hour from the San Juan airport.  I’m not sure what that means, but it rained a lot.   Huge billowy clouds  turned into downpours so loud it sometimes made  it  hard to carry on a normal conversation.  Sheets of rain.  Curtains of rain. It made the idea of drought in California hard to imagine.

I’m not complaining about the rain.  It was really quite fun and an interesting experience.  We’d have these huge downpours for 10-15 minutes and then everything would clear and nature excursions continued.  As we sat out the really heavy showers, often over a beverage or two, I thought about our expedition leader on the National Geographic Explorer.   As we headed off to see a glacier or kayak around ice burgs on a trip to  Norway and Svalbald,  she would proclaim,  “There’s no bad weather, only bad gear.”

Thank heavens for rain coats and umbrellas.  We didn’t miss out on a thing.

Costa Rica Rain Forest

Costa Rica Rain Forest

Costa Rica Rain Forest

After the damp adventure in the Cloud Forest  at the Peace Lodge,  we traveled to a hotel facing the famous Arenal Volcano where we saw the peak for about ten minutes during our four day stay.  It was always covered with misty confections of moisture.   We stayed at  a resort known for the hot springs—they have 13 of them, all labeled on the resort map with the temperatures.  Take your pick. 92 degrees? 101 degrees? We had lots of choices.  How lovely  to lallygag about in one when the torrents of warm water pour down and then bask in the sunshine as it poked through the mists.

We’ve been told that Costa Rica has two seasons: dry and rainy.  But our guide grinned when he explained, “It’s really rainy and rainier in this part of Costa Rica.”

I believe it.  We happened to be in “rainy”  season.  I can’t imagine how wet rainier  would be. I’d need my Wellies.

I was mesmerized with the  different cloud formations on the mountains.  Works of art, really.

Costa Rica Rain Forest

Costa Rica Rain Forest

Costa Rica

Costa Rica


We did have moments of blue sky and  sunshine .  When the sun came out the many shades of green were breathtaking.  If you have ever traveled in Ireland, you know what I mean.  Lush, gorgeous green.

Settling  into the reality of the weather,  I enjoyed sitting on a protected balcony reading a book while listening to the rat-ta-tat  or hearing the pounding on the roof during the night.  Actually it was quite  therapeutic.  I didn’t know it but it was just what I needed.   Hanging out in a Rain Forest  turned out to be an opportunity to relax, recharge, renew, and go home restored.

Costa Rica country side

 Exploring Costa Rica on will be continued.  Next week: wild life and fun at the beach on the dry side of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Travel Arrangements were made by Linda Barber, CTIE.  She did a wonderful job planning and arranging a terrific 10 days of exploration and relaxation.




Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Jan 26, 2015 Reply

    You did a great job describing and photographing rain with a different perspectiive. I found it inspiring that, Instead of letting it ruin the trip, you found beauty in the cloud formations and relaxation in the sound!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Jan 27, 2015 Reply

      Thanks, Kathy, I loved the rain. Gave us lots of time to play cards, read, relax and slow down. It was very soothing. I hope I didn’t give the impression that we missed activities because we didn’t. Bird Watching tour, boat tour, Walking the swinging bridges. Waterfalls. Butterflies. Wonderful part of the world.

  2. posted by
    ann cabezas creed
    Jan 27, 2015 Reply

    great photos of C Rica! I am fortunate to live and work in CR. (Vacation Planning to CR for families and individuals)

    Rainy season is special in CR. Everything is a 1000 shades of green.

    Ann Cabezas Creed

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Jan 27, 2015 Reply

      You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
      I hope you’ll post your web site here so families might be able to contact you for help with planning trips to Costa Rica.

  3. posted by
    Costa Rica: Wonderful Wildlife | DesignDestinations
    Feb 2, 2015 Reply

    […] Second half of the trip: the Gunacaste area……where they  have’t had rain for two months.  Amazing that the rain forest region and the beach are very close together. It’s not a big country.  The climate change is dramatic.  These regions are very close together.  It took us about four hours to get from Arenal to our beach location with a stop for lunch.  To read about the Arenal area, click here. […]

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